This weekend I received some beyond tragic news. The type of news that makes your heart crack into little pieces. The type of news that makes your lungs feel like they are shrinking. The type of news that makes your stomach drop to the floor. The type of news that makes you want to hug the people next to you, even if you don’t know them, because life is sacred and fragile, and our time here on this beautiful earth is so precious. This weekend, I found out that a fellow student at my university took his own life, suddenly, tragically, and without much explanation. I am so heartbroken.
I did not know this student. I did not even know what his face looked like when I found out. But in situations like these, it really does not matter. I lost my mom due to suicide in 2005, so hearing tragedies that are similar to what I experienced when I lost my mom makes me remember each moment that I try to block out in every day life. Finding out, being unable to eat, unable to sleep, hugs and flowers and food being shoved in my face. I cannot imagine going through that ever ever ever again. I wish I had arms long enough to hug everyone affected by this. I am finding myself unable to think about anything else. I see his fraternity brothers on campus wearing their letters with teary swollen eyes and tired bodies, and I just want to hug them. I cannot say that I understand what it is like to lose a brother, or a son, or a friend to suicide, but I do know the pain, the confusion, the unanswered questions, and the constant horrific thoughts that crowd our brains very well. But what I can tell you, all of you who are struggling with this reality, is that it gets better. I know it seems like the world is crashing in and that your heart will never be full again. And while you will always have that small part of you that aches for his presence, his laughter, his fun-loving personality (from what I have heard about), he will always live on in your memories and in your heart. You will be able to see the sun rise and set each day without this black cloud over your head as it is right now. I promise.
I was driving home after I heard the news, and I had to pass the street that he lived on. I found that my shoulders were tense and my grip on the wheel was much tighter; and my eyes became filled with tears because this realization that so many students on my campus, and especially in the greek community, would be suffering and in pain hit me so hard. I want everyone who is affected to know that I am here as someone who knows this grief, because it is a situation that comes with a whirl of emotions. I don’t care if I have never spoken to you in my life, please reach out if you need help, whether it is to me or whether it is to the campus’ resources.
Please, to anyone reading this, take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Do not fill the holes in your heart with the wrong coping tools. Talk to each other, hug each other, cry with each other. Each and every one of us is loved, has a purpose in this world, and is worth fighting for. Life is way too precious. May his beautiful soul be in peace ❤